CHS Welcomes New Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship
Published March 7, 2022
By Darlene Muguiro
UTEP College of Health Sciences
On March 1, 2022, the College of Health Sciences (CHS) welcomed Dr. Stacy Wagovich, who has assumed the position of Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, with a joint appointment as associate professor of Speech-Language Pathology
Over the next several months, Wagovich will transition to UTEP from the University of Missouri, where she held the chair position for the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. In her new role as associate dean, Wagovich said that she foresees herself becoming a facilitator for research in the College of Health Sciences, helping faculty make connections with others doing similar research across the college and UTEP, as well as with external organizations.
While at UTEP during her interview for the position of associate dean, Wagovich had an opportunity to preview the facilities at both the Campbell and Health Sciences and Nursing building sites and to visit with Speech-Language Pathology students. She said she was struck by how well-prepared they were, both for her research presentation and their meeting together, and looks forward to getting to know them better in her role as faculty for the SLP Program.
“The students were very engaged and came prepared with questions,” she said. “They were genuinely interested in my area of research and in my talk. I think that conversation was one of the best that I had.”
In her first several months at UTEP, Wagovich plans to focus on learning about the work currently being done by CHS faculty. Ultimately, she plans to coordinate activities such as research retreats where faculty can focus on commonalities and identify strategies to collaborate on specific funding opportunities. She also understands that scholarship can take many forms and hopes to work with each faculty member to identify opportunities to grow their portfolios.
“Research comes in all shapes and sizes,” she said. “For example, community partners may have specific questions that they want or need answers to – questions that could benefit the community right now. We can work with them to take the next step. Others can benefit from that research too, as the work is disseminated through presentations and publications. Everything starts with a question, so if you have an interesting, important question, that is what is most important.”
In addition to the opportunity for growth within academic administration, Wagovich was attracted to UTEP by the opportunity to conduct community-engaged research in her field of early childhood stuttering, specifically in identifying the underlying factors that contribute to the onset and persistence of stuttering, including in children who are learning multiple languages early on. She is also interested in expository language, or explanatory discourse, for children with language disorders and identifying interventions to support these children in becoming better at giving explanations at home or in the classroom.
“Research is my passion. I want to do studies that inform the community about child development and the interplay among language, cognitive, and motor processes,” she said. “UTEP has those important connections with the El Paso community and celebrates them, and that definitely attracted me here.”